Fig and Cinnamon Shrub

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”The process for this shrub differs from my normal cold process,’ says Michael Dietsch in his book Shrubs: An Old-Fashioned Drink for Modern Times. ‘I’ve tried macerating figs with sugar to extract their juices the way I do with other fruit. Doesn’t work. I’ve tried puréeing the figs and pressing them through a sieve to squeeze the juice out. Also doesn’t work. What did work for me was to purée the figs and then infuse them, along with the cinnamon, in vinegar, and then add the sugar later, after the infusion was complete. This shrub pairs well with bourbon or rye whiskey.’

Ingredients

1 pint purple figs, puréed in a blender
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1–2 cinnamon sticks
1 cup turbinado sugar

Instructions

1. Combine the puréed figs, apple cider vinegar, and cinnamon in a container. Allow to steep on the countertop for 2 days. Taste. If you started with one stick of cinnamon and you want more cinnamon flavor, add a second stick and allow to steep another day.

2. Strain off the fig solids and cinnamon. Pour liquid into a bottle or jar, add turbinado sugar, and shake. Allow to sit for at least a week before using.

What is a shrub?

‘A shrub is a colonial-day drink whose name is derived from the Arabic word ‘sharab’, to drink. It is  a concentrated syrup that is traditionally mixed with water to create a refreshing drink that is simultaneously tart and sweet. In the 19th century, the drink was often spiked with brandy or rum.
Entry in the Ark of Taste, Slow Food Foundation.

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